Hello Church Family,
Tonight at 7:00pm there will be over 1,000 students piling into Shotwell Stadium to hear the Gospel proclaimed and testimonies about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Chad Mitchell will be speaking. The Randy Wood Band will be leading the music. It’s the 2017 Big Country Area Fields of Faith. I hope you’ll keep this event in your prayers.
Several students from Broadview will be going as will many other adults who have volunteered to serve as “field encouragers.” These men and women will counsel with and pray alongside of students who make decisions after the message. It’s always a really neat thing to see so many young people responding to the Word and being sensitive to God’s leadership in their life.
Many of those students will become life-long followers of Jesus as a result of the Holy Spirit’s use of tonight’s activities.
This next Monday is Audra’s due date for our new little girl, Attie-Jo! When Blaise came into our life three or so years ago, everything changed. It’s hard to remember what life was like without him. People make jokes about how kids can be an inconvenience and all of that. They probably tell those jokes to keep from crying. They CAN inconvenience you from time to time.
However, children are an incredible blessing. Psalm 127:3-5 puts it this way.
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.
As I’ve been preparing for Attie-Jo’s arrival I’ve been going back and forth in my head about what it’s going to be like having a daughter. I had all brothers growing up. By the time all my brothers were born, my mom had basically become “one of the guys” anyway. We never had the “girly stuff” that some families experience.
The toilet seat was always up (sorry mom). Flowers and pink clothing were prohibited. Even the decor of the home was “masculine friendly.” My mom grew up with three sisters so I can only imagine how big a change it must’ve been.
She went from braiding hair and trying on “cute outfits” to fart contests and bodily wounds from the latest wrestling match. She was obviously glad when Blaise was born. But she’s REALLY GLAD that Attie-Jo is about to get here.
Everybody is excited. Anticipation is in here air. Her room is ready. We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our church family in terms of gifts and necessities. I can’t put it into words but life is just different when you’re about to have a baby.
Life gets harder in many ways. But, the richness of the blessing always outweighs the negatives. That’s part of how God designed us. We were made to multiply.
Imagine if you could experience that without having to wait nine months. What if all of the excitement that comes with a new baby could be experienced with a person who’s been alive for 40 years? I think such a thing is possible. Not through biological multiplication. But spiritual multiplication.
The blessings associated with new life aren’t just limited to biological life. There’s a similar type of joy and excitement when you’re living in obedience to Jesus’ command to “make disciples.” Spiritual children are just as much a gift from God as are biological ones.
These children are not born through flesh and blood but instead by the Holy Spirit. Their “rebirth” is a supernatural gift from God and we’ve been given the incredible opportunity to help those people grow into maturity.
If where I’m taking this seems like a total let down or overstatement then perhaps we’ve lost of our love for what Jesus loved the most. Jesus laid down his life for his Church. And, as precious as new babies are, what if we felt the same kind of passion and excitement towards the “spiritual children” God has planned for us?
Blaise and Attie-Jo need a daddy who will provide for their physical and emotional needs. I’ll do whatever it takes to provide for them in that way. But their spiritual needs outweigh any of those other needs because their spirit will live on forever. My main priority will be to do whatever I can so that they eventually come to a personal and saving knowledge of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Lord has convicted me these past few weeks at my relative indifference about bearing and raising “spiritual children.” It’s easy to grow cold and apathetic about making disciples. And yet, that’s the ONE thing Jesus asked us to do.
I hope you’ll join me in examining your own heart. Join me in praying that God gives you a burden and passion for helping others come to know God through faith in Jesus Christ. If nothing else, join us this Sunday as we continue our series and examine this very thing from the lips of Jesus himself.
I hope you have a great rest of your week!